Category Archives: Blog

Vice/Virtues: #bookreview

Vices/Virtues

Where do dominatrixes work? I asked Google and they aren’t sure either. What’s the correct way to write about more than one dominatrix or what the dominatrix possesses? I asked Merriam-Webster. They know some things but not everything. They did know that the term dominatrix was first used in 1971.

Part of the book Vices/Virtues by Beatrice DeSoprontu is set in a dominatrix dungeon in New York City. It was interesting and awkward to read about a dominatrix but not awkward enough to stop reading.

Cristela has been raised by a mother who lies about some pretty important things like who Cristela’s father is and her marital status. Are the lies what led Cristela to become Mistress Clara? The lies made it easier for her to lie about her secret life in the dungeon.

So Daisy is also a dominatrix. She is also a heroin addict. The people around her are enabling her to keep using drugs. She seems to have this addiction under control. If you know any real addicts, you know that addiction is not really ever under control unless you’ve been to rehab and been sober for awhile. Even then it’s not something that goes away. I like Daisy but she’s from a fantasy land. The only thing that I wish happened in the book was that Daisy quit using drugs.

Cristela has a normal 9-5 job. She’s searching for something but what – truth? She could be searching for what her truth is. So she starts working as a dominatrix. I don’t think she tells too many people about her job in the dungeon. Her life isn’t very honest. Eventually, she decides that whatever she’s searching for is not in the dungeon. She develops some friendships with her dominatrix co-workers but none of them really know each other. They don’t use their real names or know about their life outside of the dominatrix world.

There are some very funny parts of this book. People like some weird kinky sh*#. One client likes to have snack cakes thrown at him among other things. I just want to eat the Swiss Cake rolls so it’s very boring in comparison.

If you don’t like books with a strong sexual content, then you should look for another book. Vice/Virtues is a book about dominatrixes so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Sleep Deprived Music Review: Betty Who

Betty Who

Betty Who was on my YouTube feed about a month ago because I was watching NPR’s Tiny Desk series. Of course, I looked up everything else that she’s done because she’s A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Also Betty Who’s Instragram account is the best. Her album, Betty has been available in all of the usual spots since February.

The album feels like a party. Most of the album has an upbeat tempo, very danceable. It sounds like electro pop but with more heart. The lyrics are not shallow. Betty is letting you know how she feels but at a faster pace.

There is one song, “Taste,” that has a familiar beat in one section. At the moment, I cannot remember what song it sounds like.

Betty Who is from Sydney, Australia but is currently living in Los Angeles.

She has played the cello since the age of four. Betty also taught herself to play the piano and guitar. Fun fact: I read somewhere that she is 6’2″.

It’s been hard to find an album that is as good as En Vogue’s Funky Divas for getting ready to out dancing. Betty will definitely be able to fit on the party prep playlist.

Black Ice (Frank Harper Mysteries Book 2): #bookreview

The book is set in Cooper’s Mill, Ohio. The town doesn’t exist in real life but it could. There’s a place in Bucyrus, Ohio called Cooper’s Mill but it’s more of a farmer’s market.

The town in the book is similar to all small towns in Ohio. Everyone knows everyone. Secrets don’t stay hidden for long. People do go ice fishing in Ohio like the characters in Black Ice. I don’t know if anyone has such extravagant set-ups in their shanties.

Frank Harper isn’t a bad guy but he has some issues with alcohol. He’s a former police officer from Alabama. Some of his issues are related to PTSD from an earlier case and also helping with the cleanup of Hurricane Katrina. The drinking has ruined his marriage and relationship with his daughter. The trip to Ohio is to visit his daughter and grandson. Of course, he gets involved in a homicide investigation.

The killer is an interesting character. I won’t give tell you who but I will say that he or she gets away with it longer than most people would.

Harper is trying to keep his drinking in check but as you probably all know it’s extremely difficult to control alcoholism without a support system. He thinks he’s keeping the drinking a secret but people know, especially after he shows up to a meeting still drunk from the day before.

It is written well. It was easy to imagine what the characters would look like in real life. Sometimes, the book is a bit repetitive with the flashbacks from the previous case in A Field of Red (Frank Harper Mysteries, Book 1).

I wouldn’t say that there’s much humor. The main topic is murder. It’s difficult to focus on murder as well as jokes.

If you like books about murder investigations, then you might like this book. If you aren’t interested in hearing about Harper’s drinking problem, then you should look elsewhere.

Ice Fishing Guidelines in Ohio

  • I received this ebook from the author in exchange for doing a review. Thanks to Violeta. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Sleep Deprived Music Review: SOAK

SOAK

SOAK released their album, Grim Town, in April. Apparently, I want to tell you guys about all of the music but there’s only so much time. Sometimes you have to make time for albums that are enjoyable. As Marie Kondo would ask, “Does it bring you joy?” It sounds weird to say but Grim Town does bring me joy.

 It’s electro pop I guess. Bridie Monds-Watson is the main person in SOAK. I love Bridie’s voice and the lyrics. Bridie’s voice is so expressive and a bit ethereal at times.

It reminds me of music from the 80s but more updated. Songs from this album could be on the Pretty in Pink soundtrack and people would lose their minds because SOAK’s songs are so awesome.

 Monds-Watson is from Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Fun fact: Bridie likes scrapbooking and giraffes.

I would like to listen to this album while trying on retro clothes -sort of like Annie Potts in Pretty in Pink. It would be so much fun.

Grim Town is available is all of the usual places.

Meet and Greet: Lovesick Radio

Bloodshot Eyes: No Filters Needed

It’s the “bad stuff”, the “real stuff”, the stuff that fancy filters and photoshop can’t fix. It goes by the name grief, depression, anxiety, pain, suffering, bad news, bad days, bad months…call it what you will, but it doesn’t change the fact that no one is immune, and it doesn’t matter your age, race or gender. For me, a bad month turned into a bad year…I went from playing to crowds of 20,000 and selling out of merch every night to a just another guy in a band with a bankrupt record label going through a divorce. The quick ascent and rapid downward spiral sent my head spinning and almost out of control…almost. Once the self pity was over, I realized that there is always “worse pain than yours” and while this felt like “the end”, I realized it was only the beginning. For me it took months of “up all nights” and pouring myself into music and songwriting like never before…that was my drug of choice…music. My bloodshot eyes came from sleepless nights of work, focus, and determination not to become the typical rock and roll cliche…but hey, this was MY journey and MY recovery…every story is different, and every recovery unique.

Several months back the band and I were working on some music and one of the tracks had this huge ANTHEMIC feel…something BIG and BOLD…it was our attempt at creating something that made us feel the way we did the first time we heard “Back in Black” or “You Shook Me All Night Long”. I could tell it was a special song and I didn’t want to waste the opportunity to make something so alive just be another “party anthem”…I wanted it to feel like a party, but also have meaning. I took the opportunity to write a song about “getting through the “bad stuff” and finding recovery…I called the song “Bloodshot Eyes” after my experience with the sleepless nights, but I wanted it to be universal…we all have different journeys, challenges and struggles, and all deal with it differently…and it’s ok. Whether we choose to end our day with a cold beer after work, a smoke with a group of friends, or a nice cry all alone…HOW we get through is not the important thing. The important thing is that we GET THROUGH… Happiness is self served, and I’m on my second scoop.

-Troy Brown, Singer

Lovesick Radio

Lovesick Radio

Interview with 18th & Addison

18th & Addison

18th & Addison are the coolest. It’s not like they are even trying to be cool. They just are. 18th & Addison will be releasing their latest EP on September 6.

If there was ever a reboot of Pretty in Pink, they could be the band or probably whatever character they wanted to be. Maybe Andie and Duckie? Anyway, if you want to know more about the cool kids at 18th & Addison, read the following interview.

Where was your 1st show as a fan? As a performer?

Kait: 1st show as a fan was *NSYNC but as bands go, it was Good Charlotte. As a performer it was definitely a little hole in the wall coffee shop. 

Tom: I saw Blink-182 with No Doubt and The Living End in Holmdel, NJ. I went twice and I was in heaven both times. As a performer, I barely remember my first show since I was so young so I’ll go with when my old hardcore band played at The Stone Pony when we were about 14 or 15 years old. 

Who did the cover art for the new album?

Kait: Burla_22 on Instagram! He’s from Italy and incredible! 

Tom: He does a lot of amazing wall art as you can see on his social media. He caught my eye, I showed Kait and we felt immediately connected to his work and knew he was the guy for the job.

Is there something special at 18th & Addison?

Kait: It’s the street I grew up on and Tom’s house number so in our world it’s not an real cross street. There is one in Philly but we had no idea! 

Tom: We make our own damn locations!

What is the scariest thing on the planet?

Kait: Hands down, clowns. 

Tom: Dying too soon. I’m not scared of death, but we’ve got a lot to do still. 

What’s the furthest that you been from home?

Kait: Tom and I played a show in the British Virgin Islands and it was FAR. Literally 24 hours straight of traveling, 2 planes, 3 cabs, and 2 boats. 

Tom: It was a long day but we had fun. It was one hell of an experience. 

Do you enjoy having alone time?

Kait: I definitely do. I need time to decompress sometimes or just calm down. Sometimes I do that better when I’m alone but I definitely need to be around someone to stay out of my own head sometimes so I think it’s a healthy balance. 

Tom: I do as well. I work faster and can exorcise new ideas more confidently when I’m alone. I have no problems going to a coffee shop or grabbing some food by myself. If you’re in a band and you’re working, and I mean really working, you’ll notice alone time becomes a lot more common as well as enjoyable. 

Which is the worst? Leeches, vultures or parasites?

Kait: Ooh what a great question. I’m sure it’s obvious we hate them all and I hate them all for the same reasons. I’m going with Leeches though. It’s never fun when something or someone sucks all the life out of you. 

Tom: They’re all equal in my eyes. Otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten records written about them! Haha!

What do you want people to know about 18th & Addison?

Kait: I think it’s important for people to know we genuinely love interacting and communicating with fans and friends of our music on a daily basis. Getting to know them, finding out what it is they love or hate about music helps us grow as a band and we just love the connections we make with everyone.

Tom: Hell yes. The interaction for us is huge. It’s so validating but not in a narcissistic type of way. More in the sense that we feel the connection is genuinely being made and that’s our main goal. It’s great to play music for people, but it’s even greater to play music and give your all to a room full of people ready to return that same energy. The color of our skin or sexual preferences don’t mean anything. Everyone is welcome, supported and safe to come out and be more a part of what we strive to create. 

Keeping Lucy: #bookreview

Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood is about Ginny, a housewife from Massachusetts, trying to get her life back on track by getting her daughter back.

The main characters travel from Massachusetts to Florida. It’s not your typical road trip but they have an interesting adventure. Their lives won’t be the same after this trip but you’ll have to read it to find out what happens.

Ginny is a mother who has had her child taken from her moments after childbirth by her husband, Ab, and his wealthy family. Lucy has Down’s Syndrome. It’s 1969 before people took care of their own children with disabilities. No one around the mother believes that Lucy should go home with the family. Ab’s family sends her to Willowridge, an institution for developmentally delayed children.

She has been a stay at home mother and done everything to support her husband. Before they got married, she was a librarian. Her husband wants her to forget about Lucy and get back to how things were before. For two years, she is depressed ànd going through the motions of daily life.

Ginny’s friend, Marsha, discovers that Willowridge is being investigated for having less than ideal conditions. Ginny talks Marsha into traveling to Willowridge to see for themselves. She is allowed to take Lucy for the weekend. After seeing how Lucy has been neglected – severe diaper rash, intestinal worms and lice – she cannot stand the thought of taking Lucy back.

So the group travels to Florida. Ginny decides along the way that she won’t ever take Lucy back to Willowridge. Her husband and father-in-law try to talk her into coming back but she refuses to allow them to take her child away again. There is a risk that she’ll go to jail for taking Lucy, but Ginny is unswayed. She is keeping Lucy.

I cannot think of anyone that won’t like this book. Maybe if you like books or characters that are exactly the same as everyone else. If you like boring books and cookie cutout characters, then this is not the book for you.

Sleep Deprived Music Review: The Dollyrots

The Dollyrots

The Dollyrots have a new album, Daydream Explosion, that you should listen to right now.

The music feels like punk rock but more on the fun side – so pop punk I guess. I wouldn’t say it’s all rainbows and unicorns. Would they be better if they were a bit more gothic or emo? I don’t think so. They are a fun pop punk band. Being a little bit happy is who they are at heart. What’s wrong with rainbows and unicorns anyway? Dio had that “Rainbow in the Dark” song and he’s a legend.

 

Some of their songs reminds me of that scene in Empire Records.

 Check out The Dollyrots video for “In Your Face.”

 The Dollyrots are originally from Florida but are based in Los Angeles.

On Facebook they list their interests: “Rock & roll, popsicles, whiskey, sweaty hugs, long walks on the beach, coffee, & safety pins.”


Kelly Ogden (Vox, Bass) and Luis Cabezas (Guitar, Vox) met in the 8th grade. Now they are married with children and playing in a punk rock band. Some would say that they are living the dream.

I want to listen to this record if I traveled to the 80s and was going to a beach party. Maybe there would be surfing and a bonfire – more Point Break and less Lost Boys. Either way, Daydream Explosion would be perfect for this particular Johnny Utah daydream.

Meet and Greet: The Hellfreaks

The Hellfreaks

Who: The Hellfreaks from Budapest, Hungary.

Shakey Sue – Vocals
Jozzy – Guitar
Domján Gabi – Bass
Budai Béla – Drums

What: Punk rock/metal

Where: Social Media links

The Hellfreaks website

YouTube: The Hellfreaks

Twitter: The Hellfreaks

When: Their 4th album, God on the Run, will be released in January 2020. The video for “Men in Grey” is out now.

How: For the last two years, The Hellfreaks have been touring and also working in the studio. Fun Fact: The lyrics for “Men in Grey” were inspired by the fantasy novel Momo by Michael Ende, who also wrote The Neverending Story.

10 Things you don’t want to hear about Gardens

The other night I had a nightmare. One of my neighbors dug up my garden. There was nothing left – not even the fence. I know that I was screaming at him as he drove off with all of the flowers, vegetables and herbs that I grew over the summer. It was traumatizing.

When I woke up, the garden was still there. I was so relieved. Of course, the garden isn’t perfect but it’s still a success. Next year some things will be different. This year was a learning experience for sure.

There are about ten things that I learned about gardening either from making mistakes or Pinterest. Here’s my garden board on Pinterest.

Bugs, etc.

Bees are good. Butterflies will eat the leaves but I can’t deny a butterfly. Locusts and slugs are not that great. I only saw one locust. The slugs were a little sneakier. If you put beer in small containers around the garden, it should take care of the slugs. Slugs like beer.

I made a DIY pesticide with vegetable oil. It worked fairly well and didn’t kill the plants.

Weeds

Weeds are inevitable. This year I didn’t have any major problems with weeds in the garden. I spent plenty of time pulling weeds when I was digging in the yard to make room for the garden. I didn’t use weed killer in the garden. It kills everything including what you’re trying to grow.

Rabbits

There are rabbits in the area so I fenced in the garden as much as I could. So far they haven’t crawled under it.

Birds

The birds were lurking around the garden. However, I didn’t really have any plants that they wanted. If I had any berries, I would have put a net over the garden.

Mulch/Compost

Since I live in town, I put my compost pile in a big trash can with a lid. It stinks but the garden will benefit from all of the grossness. Did you know that you can put hair in the compost pile?

There’s not a magical portal.

My kids would come out to find me but not see me in the garden. Seriously, there’s no where to hide. I wish I could say that there’s a portal to another world out in the garden. It’s been pretty good for my mental health. Maybe because I’m not stuck in the house with my kids.

Planting things too close

I definitely planted the carrots too close together. I forgot to separate them when putting them in the garden. Lesson learned for next year.





Tomatoes will take over the world starting with your garden.

I had so many tomato plants that I lost count. At one time I had 30 or so. I gave some away and some didn’t make it. There are still so many tomato plants.

Did you know that if you don’t cage them or string them, it will be like urban sprawl but with tomatoes? The tomato plants will be everywhere. I’m pretty sure that they multiply.

The next step is to do something will all of the tomatoes.




Sometimes you forget what you planted.

When I started planting seeds, there were intentions of labeling. I did label most things. Unfortunately, the cats kept knocking over the containers and the labels fell off.

For the better part of the summer, I thought I was growing peas. They weren’t peas. They were pods for radish seeds. So there will be an abundance of radishes next year.

These are not peas. They are pods with radish seeds.

If you live in the northern part of the US, the growing season will end.

At least outdoors. Of course, you can still grow things inside. Definitely herbs. We had a tomato plant indoors last winter. It was enormous.